Presents Professor Merrell Gage, retired head of the Department of Sculpture at the University of Southern California, describing the life and career of Abraham Lincoln as he sculpts a lifelike bust of the 16th President, making physical changes in the subject's hair, beard and expression to correspond to events in Lincoln's life.
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April 11, 2010 Subject:
.... One Thing...The Bullet Hole..!
October 29, 2008 Subject:
Face of Lincoln
A remarkable short movie on the life of lincoln. I recall seing this in my elementary school class several times in the late 1960s via old film projector. Since then, I've gone on to be a scholar of lincoln and his life. It was a delight to see and I'm glad it is now online to enjoy as well.
October 16, 2008 Subject:
I saw this when it was first aired in the mid-1950s--I was ten years old at the time. And I have been searching for it ever since--thinking, when I couldn't find it (it doesn't appear in the TV Guide for the New York area where I lived), that it might just have been my imagination.
It made a profound impression on me. It is precisely what art education should be, what history education should be--hands-on, literally, done with love, understanding, reverence.
November 6, 2006 Subject:
As a sculptor myself I find this video simply splendid. Mr Gage makes modelling look as easy as cake, he was an expert and one to emulate. The fact thathe used his hands and fingers for much of the modelling instead of tools is inspiring.
May 29, 2006 Subject:
Honest Abe in Clay
This 50s film tells the story of the life of Abraham Lincoln in an unusual way: by having sculptor Merrell Gage tell it to us while making a bust of the man. As the story goes on, Gage shows us the changes that formed in LincolnÂs appearance over his lifetime, such as when he decided to grow a beard, or when the worries of the Civil War etched lines into his face. For the most part, this is understated and touching, though it does drag a bit in spots. Still, this film is to be commended for coming up with a truly unique way to tell the story of a man whose life has been talked about so much over the years that there is little to say that hasnÂt been said way to many times before. And the ÂsculptorÂs perspectiveÂ is a genuinely creative educational technique, making this an educational film that really uses the medium well, especially when you consider itÂs telling a story that predates the availability of archival film footage to spice up the visuals.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.
January 29, 2006 Subject:
Is your thumb in my eye or are you just happy to see me?
VERY nice short little biography here of Honest Abe. The unique thing about it is that why the story is being told, a bust of his face is being sculpted out! And as AbeÃÂ¡ÃÂ¯s story goes on, the sculptot ages the bust accordingly, which was a great touch. IÃÂ¡ÃÂ¯ve never seen anything like this before. ItÃÂ¡ÃÂ¯s unique and works beautifully. I even cringed when the sculptor began raking LincolnÃÂ¡ÃÂ¯s face. Even though this is 20 minutes, the time flies by because youÃÂ¡ÃÂ¯re half listening to the bio, and half watching the guy making this face look like a piece of cake. Great!
October 29, 2005 Subject:
Man, I remember this one! They used to air it on a local TV station in the 1960s when a feature movie ran a bit short.
My favorite bit is where he says, "Of course, he had ears..." and then THWAPS two big clumps of clay on either side of Lincoln's head. (That moment, by the way, is about the most exciting part of this film.) It's a bit tough to pay attention to Lincoln's life history when it's told by a lecturer who simultaneously digs his thumbs into a giant clay Lincoln's eye sockets.